Christmas shopping can be overwhelming at the best of times. When you’re trying to shop sustainably too, it can seem like an impossible challenge. So, here are five of my favourite ethical and sustainable brands for you to browse through this Christmas!
Zena is a nonprofit brand that makes fun and creative jewellery and accessories. Not only are they committed to using recycled, locally sourced waste materials, but the money that you spend goes directly towards supporting their vision. Zena believes that ‘investing in female entrepreneurs has the power to change the global stories of gender inequality, and extreme poverty’.
The Zena women are female entrepreneurs in Kamuli, Uganda. Through short-term apprenticeships creating Zena products, they are earning and accessing business education, whilst saving monthly so they can start their own business in the future.
But the best news is that so far, every single woman part of the programme has come to know Jesus through the optional Bible studies!
Tala is a sustainable activewear and athleisure brand aiming to positively change the fast fashion industry. Two of their core values are sustainability and transparency. Tala claim ‘we care about how our products are made and we know who makes them’. You can read more about their factories and fabrics on their website.
My TALA leggings are the comfiest leggings I’ve ever owned, and they’re made from 92% recycled materials! However, the best part of any TALA purchase is the plantable tags that grow to become gorgeous wildflowers.
Terrazzo Parazo (terrazzoparazo.co.uk)
Milly started Terrazzo Parazo (TP) after she lost her job in the first lockdown of 2020. Since then, she has created a beautiful business, making homeware products from candlestick holders and vases to trinket dishes and plant pots. TP’s products are made from Jesmonite, which is an environmentally friendly substitute for polyester GP resin.
They create new products from leftover materials and make sample sales for products that didn’t make the final cut. Nothing here is wasted – even the packing peanuts are biodegradable and dissolve in water!
Yes Friends (yesfriends.co.uk)
The vision of Yes Friends is to make ethical clothing affordable. Often shopping ethically means spending more, but Yes Friends shows us that doesn’t always have to be the case. Their famous £7.99 sustainable and ethical t-shirt is a staple for every wardrobe. All their clothes are made from Fairtrade organic cotton in the wind and solar-powered factories, where the garment workers are paid good wages.
Outside In (weareoi.com)
Outside In make some of the cosiest clothing I have ever worn. I am a big fan of their fleeces and beanies but an even bigger fan of their ethos. Since they began, Outside In has operated with a ‘Wear One, Share One’ model. This means they give an item of clothing to an individual experiencing homelessness for every purchase.
What a wonderful way to give even further this Christmas by buying a gift that gives to someone else too! If the items on their website look a bit pricey, then head over to their Depop page, where they sell sample items and items with minor faults at a discounted price.
Or check out the We are Tearfund’s shop featuring stylish, sustainable clothing that changes the world, one t-shirt at a time. Every purchase includes a donation that helps people living in poverty.
But these are all pricey?
Most of these are more expensive than your high street brands. The reality is the gifts we buy will cost more when materials are sourced sustainably and workers are paid a fair wage.
However, you could make it cheaper by doing a Secret Santa this year. If you agree with your family/friends to each buy for a different person, you can shop ethically without having to take out a small loan!